by Don Hank
Compromise. It sounds sweet, harmonious and Christian.
There are essentially 2 kinds of people: those who believe men are capable of forging their own fate, and those who know that the forger of all fates is not human, but divine.
In an interview with the American Prospect, Jimmy Carter, one of the former kind, once said:
I think almost all Christians would conclude that whenever there is an inevitable altercation — say, between a husband and a wife, or a father and a child, or within a given community, or between two nations (including our own) — we should make every effort to resolve those differences which arise in life through peaceful means.
What man is not eager to please his wife? What gift would he refuse her if she pleaded demurely with batting eyelashes? Who would not compromise with her for the sake of conjugal harmony?
It was in a spirit of sweetness and gentle accommodation that Adam hammered out the compromise with Eve and their Satanic cohort—the only three inhabitants of the garden with the God-given gift of speech. It was a unanimous, compassionate decision to eat the forbidden fruit, and it came about “through peaceful means.” How could that be wrong? By Jimmy’s reasoning, it wasn’t.
Yet that compromise was a forbidden one. First, the garden dwellers hadn’t invited God, the only one whose vote counts, to the bargaining table. Second, they had invited God’s enemy, Satan, to that table.
Likewise it was in a spirit of compromise that scrupled Christians, whose enlightened consciences cried out against slavery and who debated passionately against it, ultimately set their hands to a document that enshrined in law that foulest of all institutions for what was to amount then to only 20 more years. After all, God would overlook those mere 20 years of evil, wouldn’t he? But they turned into many more years. Because compromise is self-perpetuating. It’s like spoiling a child. It can’t be undone.
And in 1861 God collected the first payment.
America has never stopped paying the price of that compromise.
It was our original sin. God was left out of the bargain. His words: there is a way that seemeth right unto man but the end thereof are the ways of death, had been ignored.
It was in a spirit of compromise that Jimmy Carter sat at the table with Arafat and bargained away Israel’s rights. They weren’t his to give away either.
That’s why these weren’t Christian acts. They were in fact foolish misdeeds perpetrated by a weak and foolish man under color of Christian kindness with total disregard for the long-term consequences.
In like manner, Jimmy sat at a bargaining table with Omar Torrijos and gave away your canal and mine—a canal in which he had not invested a penny of his money or a drop of his sweat—to Central American bureaucrats who persuaded him the canal would pass into the hands of the Panamanian people. It passed immediately and irretrievably into the hands of the bureaucrats. And that is where it has stayed. Nothing has changed for the Panamanians, except that the American military, a significant source of income—to say nothing of security—is now gone. And the region is less secure than ever. Neither that people nor the American people were present at the bargaining table. Our interests were not represented.
Likewise, it was in a spirit of Christian kindness that Carter bargained away Taiwan and thereby compromised the safety of millions of people who were our most loyal friends and allies. Taiwan was our friend, not his to sell either.
It is not Christian to give away other people’s stuff. Yet weak and foolish men do it under color of Christian kindness to hide their weakness and fear of confrontation.
Convinced that he was being Christ-like, Jimmy Carter habitually tampered with delicately balanced political eco-systems that he couldn’t begin to understand. Blindly believing that he was doing God’s will by compromising, he had no inkling of the dire consequences of his actions. Yet in his book “Our Endangered Values,” Jimmy, whose cult-like obsession with Christian compromise never deserted him in his official capacity, complains that Americans nowadays aren’t properly separating church and state! But it is precisely Jimmy’s devotion to the cult of Christian gentleness, precisely in the public arena where he decries religious motivation of any kind, coupled with his negligence of the command to be wise, that has caused him to fail so miserably as president and as a human being.
Today another Christian sits in the White House and, in a spirit of Christian compromise, works hard to give away your sovereignty and mine. He too is convinced that his attitude toward his bargaining partners, including Vicente Fox and Teddy Kennedy, whose motives are purely political at best, is thoroughly Christian because he thinks he owes them something of ours. He interprets the Master’s words to mean “turn your people’s cheek to the enemy.”
But it’s not his to give away. It’s your sovereignty and mine. We weren’t represented at the table.
President Bush sums up his befuddled reasoning in favor of amnesty with the words: it’s good for our soul, thus portraying himself not only as our intercessor before God, but in fact forcing others, kicking and screaming, into the kingdom of Heaven with him. That is forbidden by the Master, of course, whose message to the world is that the decision is a personal one, entirely up to the individual.
We could have seen it coming.
Had this same man not sat at the table with Teddy Kennedy and hammered out a bargain that removed the states’ constitutionally protected oversight of education and placed it in the hands of the central government?
Had he not unflinchingly signed into law the feminist-backed VAWA that explicitly denies males equal protection from domestic violence under the law?
Had he not docilely compromised your First Amendment rights away when he signed McCain-Feingold without a whimper of protest?
Thus, having a Christian at the helm of a nation is a mixed blessing. While public sweetness and harmony may seem to highlight such an administration, the price in terms of security and national integrity may be greater than we can afford.
We now know what we should have from the start: that George W. Bush was not a set-him-and-forget-him president. There is no such person. How foolish to think there was. How foolish to think that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces was also somehow the commander-in-chief of the voting public. The tail was wagging the dog.
What Jimmy Carter, President Bush and our Founders all taught us is this:
Jesus got it right when he said “be wise as serpents.” He knew that foolishness could be the biggest pitfall for Christians and that eternal vigilance is needed if we are to survive as a people.
Christian foolishness of the kind we are examining here can be defined as initially avoiding a little pain and conflict for the Christian in ways that cause foreseeable ongoing and excruciating pain for others in the future.
It is American Christianity’s most grievous sin, the sin of compromise, in the negligently naïve belief that the person on the other side of the bargaining table has the same high ideals as you and wants the best for all concerned. To believe this is to ignore the teaching that men are born into sin. This, coupled with the belief that anyone other than a white Christian heterosexual male who cries “victim” is a victim, is a recipe for total disaster.
We the people need to get it right soon, too, and start following this least-heeded of all of Christ’s commandments. Be wise as serpents. That means not letting other Christians make your decisions for you. It means not picking a leader and blindly following him in the irresponsible belief that he is “God’s man.” Because your right to choose is also your right to demand compliance with your Constitution. It means recognizing that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, that none is righteous, no not one. It means recognizing that God’s man is you when you follow his commandments, and when it comes to civil duties, it means keeping up with current events, subscribing to newsletters and reading web pages written by wise people, like Dr. James Kennedy, Don Wildman, Phyllis Schlafly and Lou Sheldon, that alert you to the issues. It is your country to keep, not your leaders’ to give away.
The serpent in the garden, urging Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, had said: surely you will not die.
But God had said: You will surely die. His was the only vote that counted, and he made good his promise.
He still does.
Therefore, America, I am telling you the truth: If you do not gain wisdom soon, you will surely die!
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